Published on June 10th, 2014 | by AberdeenMagazine
Warm Up With Cozy Winter Wear; Dakota Carding and Wool Company
Dakota Carding and Wool Company.
The Dakota Carding and Wool Company is located just outside of Aberdeen in beautiful rural South Dakota. Many of their chic, animal-friendly wool, mohair, alpaca, and angora fibers are harvested from livestock raised on the Knispel/Ulvog family farm. These fibers are combined into blends which are then carded into lofty clouds perfect for spinning or felting. Dakota Carding and Wool also offers hand spun fashions such as luxurious one-of-a-kind sweaters, hats, scarves and shawls. These warm knits offer soft texture and earthy tones with an undeniably organic appeal.
Sheep To Sweater
A process walkthrough by Dakota Carding and Wool owner Kelly Knipsel.
Once the wool fleece (or mohair) is shorn it must be washed with soap and water to remove the dirt and lanolin. After the wool is dry it goes through a carding process that disentangles the individual fibers and removes the vegetable matter, like tiny seeds and bits of hay. At this point the carded wool can be further prepared by combing or it may go right to spinning.
Spinning wool into yarn is done with a hand spindle, spinning wheel or mechanized spinning frame and is simply the act of putting a twist into the fibers. Once the fibers are twisted together the resulting yarn has tensile strength and is ready to be used in weaving, knitting, crocheting, felting, or other fiber crafts that involve yarn.
I design and spin the yarn that I create from my sheep’s wool and goat’s mohair and then I knit and weave scarves, hats, sweaters, socks and shawls from these yarns.
Some of the yarns that I hand spin are the natural color of the animals: white, gray, black or brown. I dye the wool or yarns using plant dyes made from marigold blossoms, curled dock, golden rod, black walnuts, indigo or basil plants. I also use professional protein fiber dyes to obtain more commercial colors such as maroon or lime green.